GEM Sustainability Services and Consultancy Inc. (GEM), founded in March 2019 and headquartered in Ankara, aim to provide sustainability services to national and international clients and their investments in Turkey and in the wider region.
We have started GEM as two women engineers and entrepreneurs and continue growing with talented and energetic professionals joining our team. As the two founding pillars of GEM, we bring-in our national and international professional experience of more than 15 years to provide tailor-made environmental and social sustainability services and solutions to our clients. We put technical excellence and on-time and high-quality delivery at the heart of all our projects.
Our environmental and social sustainability services cover a wide range of sectors from power to infrastructure, oil and gas to chemicals, mining and minerals, water, wastewater and waste management.
We strongly believe in the power of teamwork and maintaining the focus on the bigger picture to achieve success under the most challenging project settings. We work with and for international financing institutions, industrial clients, governmental authorities and institutions, civil society organisations and local communities to ensure sound management of the investment projects within environmental and social sustainability framework.
We are GEM; we envisage, plan, act and deliver.
Hande has over 18 years of professional work experience as an environmental engineer in a wide range of sectors (power, infrastructure, oil and gas, chemicals, mining, manufacturing, water, wastewater, waste management) mainly focusing on E&S sustainability, integrated pollution prevention and control, resource efficiency, sustainable production and consumption.
During 2008-2012, she worked at the European Commission – European IPPC Bureau in Spain as Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Document author/co-author contributing to different industrial sectors (mainly textile, chemical and refining industries) covered by the Directive on Industrial Emissions (2010/75/EU).
Before joining the EC, she worked at the Republic of Turkey – Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an environmental adviser in charge of UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol and EU Acquis Chapter on Environment negotiations. As an environmental expert, she was involved in EU funded Technical Assistance (TA) projects in Turkey, namely, EuropeAid – TA to Prepare Wastewater Treatment Plant Projects in Turkey and EU Heavy Cost Investment Planning Project in which she contributed to the preparation of Directive Specific Implementation Plans for the EU’s Hazardous Waste, Nitrates and Bathing Water Directives which were further used by the former Ministry of Environment and Forestry for the development of the EU Integrated Environmental Approximation Strategy of Turkey for the period 2007-2023.
Between 2013-2016, as a freelance consultant, she worked as the National BAT/BEP Expert for the “POPs Legacy Elimination and POPs Release Reduction Project” of UNIDO, she acted as an Independent Evaluator under the EC Horizon 2020 Programme of Proposals for Innovation Actions “H2020-Water 1b-2015” Call on Water Innovation: Boosting its Value for Europe – Demonstration/Pilot Activities and was involved in numerous E&S consultancy work including EBRD Cat A ESIA Disclosure of Alpaslan II Dam and Hydropower Plant Project and the ESIA work of Istanbul New Airport.
Until June 2019, she was the Environment Business Line Director of AECOM in Turkey (AECOM ranked #1 in ENR’s “Top 200 Environmental Firms” since 2016) with a leading role in ESIA and ESDD projects conducted in line with the requirements of IFIs, policy development and support, M&A Advisory Services, Phase I/II and EHS compliance work for major national and international Clients. Hande is an AECOM Certified Project Manager and was nominated as an Approved Lead Verifier at AECOM for Environmental Due Diligence, Impact Assessment and Permitting, EHS Auditing and Compliance, Industrial Water and Wastewater subject areas. At AECOM, she oversaw technical and financial account management of all national and international Clients of the environment business including but not limited to global industrial Clients such as BP, GE, SOCAR, Novartis, Saudi Aramco, Merck and international Lenders/ECAs such as EBRD, UniCredit, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, KEXIM, EKF, SERV.
She has joined GEM as a co-founder in June 2019.
Burcu is a senior E&S consultant with extensive technical and managerial experience in E&S management of major investment projects andhas been providingE&S consultancy services since 2008. She holds BSc in Environmental Engineering and completed her MSc in the International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies Program at the Hamburg University of Technology with a scholarship provided by the German Ministry of Education and Research.
After graduating from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of Environmental Engineering in 2006, Burcu completed her master’s degree in the International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies Program at the Hamburg University of Technology with a scholarship provided by the German Ministry of Education and Research. She has been providing E&S consultancy services in the market since 2008.
Throughout her career, she has been responsible for over 50 E&S risk and impact assessment, due diligence and monitoring studies in a variety of industrial sectors including mining, energy (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower, thermal), infrastructure (motorways, pipelines, terminals) conducted in line with International Finance Institutions’ standards and requirements (EPs, IFC PSs, EBRD PRs, WB ESSs).
She has a very thorough understanding of the Turkish environmental legislation and had extensive experience with the national EIA processes of major mining and energy projects and has been involved in the planning and implementation of stakeholder engagement and consultation activities as well as Project-related land acquisition processes of several motorway, mining and energy projects in Turkey. She delivered presentations and organized stakeholder engagement events in more than 30 scoping/public participation and/or post-disclosure consultation meetings conducted as part of ESIA projects.
At AECOM Turkey she led the ESIA&ESDD business till March 2019.
Having successfully completed the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) course delivered by the Community Insights Group and Glasgow University of Strathclyde in May 2020, Burcu became a certified SIA practitioner. She has been involved in the planning and implementation of stakeholder engagement and consultation activities as well as Project-related land acquisition processes of several motorway and mining projects in Turkey.
Since 2017, she has been also providing volunteer mentorship support to the Engineer Girls of Turkey initiative ("Türkiye'nin Mühendis Kızları") to help guide young and passionate candidates to become future engineers and women leaders contributing to our industry.
As a co-founder, Burcu continues delivering services as part of GEM's team of experts since March 2019.
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GEM SUSTAINABILITY SERVICES AND CONSULTANCY INC.
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